SEATTLE, Aug. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The board of directors of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK) has approved a share repurchase program authorizing the company to buy back up to $1 billion of its common stock. This is the largest repurchase program in the airline's history, representing 10 percent of the stock market capitalization of the company.
The board also declared a quarterly cash dividend of 20 cents per share payable on Sept. 1 to shareholders of record as of Aug. 18.
"Our growing network, low fares, outstanding operational reliability, and the award-winning service delivered by our employees are producing excellent financial results and record cash flows," Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden said. "We are reinvesting in the business and returning cash to our owners, and we intend to continue doing more of the same in the future. We are confident in the future of Alaska Air Group and committed to building long-term shareholder value."
The $1 billion repurchase program will begin after the existing $650 million buyback is completed.
The repurchase program allows the company to repurchase its common stock using open market stock purchases, negotiated transactions or through other means, including accelerated share repurchases and 10b5-1 trading plans.
This will be Alaska's ninth repurchase program since 2007. The company has spent over $1.1 billion buying back more than 53 million shares of its stock, or about one third of the total shares outstanding at that time.
Air Group began paying a quarterly dividend of 10 cents per share in August of 2013. The dividend was increased to 12.5 cents per share in February 2014 and increased again to 20 cents per share in January 2015. Air Group has paid out $148 million in quarterly dividends in less than two years.
Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves more than 100 cities through an expansive network in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America" in the J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction Study for eight consecutive years from 2008 to 2015. Alaska Airlines' Mileage Plan also ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Airline Loyalty Rewards Programs" in the J.D. Power 2014 and 2015 Airline Loyalty/Rewards Program Satisfaction Report. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit Alaska Airlines' newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.
SOURCE Alaska Air Group